Thirteen years on social media is enough

In the beginning there was Flickr. The year was 2004, and there weren’t too many people online, and Flickr would crash daily around 5pm Pacific, and it was an intimate and beautiful experience.

Then came the trolls, and the marketers, and Yahoo! came knocking, and Yahoo! bought Flickr, and ruined it. And I moved on.

On to Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Google+, and Instagram, and Reddit, and Ello, and Mastodon…

Enough.

Social media has given me countless hours of enjoyment, broadened my horizons, helped me make many new friends. For all this I am grateful. Yet, after thirteen years of very active (excessive, according to family and friends) participation, I am ready to scale back. I am ready to reenter the analog world, eager to rediscover its beauty.

I am not unplugging; email still works on all my devices. But I look forward to spending a lot less time online.

See you IRL.

On the Staten Island Ferry

On the Staten Island Ferry

Ask a totalitarian survivor

Q: Hey, how was growing up in Bulgaria in the ‘70s and ‘80s? Was totalitarianism good?

A: It was survivable.

Q: But did some people think it was actually good?

A: Yes. A few honest, simple-minded people thought it was great. They didn’t know what “totalitarian” meant or was. They just liked the simplicity of everything.

Q: I thought totalitarianism enjoyed wide popular support.

A: Many more people pretended to believe it was good; this was a common survival strategy, and a career booster for many.

Q: But once the wheels fell off, everything collapsed pretty quickly, right?

A: Like a house of cards.

Q: Were the “believers” first to abandon ship?

A: Aren’t they always?

Q: But this was in another place, another time, right? Nothing like that is happening now anywhere, right? Right???

A: Of course. Everything is great.

Q: …

A: …

Q: …

A: …

Q: Will there be another installment of “Ask a totalitarian survivor”?

A: Stay tuned.